This is the busy season forand conventions, and here are a few noteworthy items from the meeting-planning perspective.
-- Late-night services are very popular with the Congress of Christian Education of the National Baptist Convention USA. The group held a meeting last month in Detroit, and each night from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., members gathered in the ballroom of the Detroit Marriott hotel for praise and worship.
-- The National Association of Priest Pilots—priests who are airplane pilots—is meeting this week in Cleveland. “Some priests golf and fish," said Mel Hemann, who helped form the group 45 years ago and who retired as a priest in the Dubuque, Iowa, area. "I don't golf. I don't fish. I fly airplanes.”
-- The United Church of Christ’s 27th General Synod was held June 26-30 in Grand Rapids, Mich. The synod provided live Web streaming and a Twitter page that included tweets from attendees. The synod’s daily newspaper told the story of Nancy Westcott of Battle Creek, Mich., who is the general synod cookie coordinator. Westcott and her committee began planning in December for the 4,000 to 5,000 dozen cookies that members of 100 Michigan churches delivered to the synod. Varieties included chocolate chip, peanut butter, and sugar, plus sugar-free and nut-free.
-- The 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church began yesterday and runs through July 17 in Anaheim, Calif., with 800 lay and ordained deputies and 200 bishops. Interestingly, the convention’s legislative action is conducted by a bicameral body—the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops.
-- The Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention was held last week in Washington, D.C., with nearly 8,000 attendees.
-- The Unitarian Universalist General Assembly was held June 24-28 in Salt Lake City, attracting more than 3,000 members from across the country.
-- It’s not only national meetings that fill convention halls at this time of the year. A three-day Jehovah’s Witnesses district convention was held this week in Columbus, Ga., and it drew nearly 5,000 attendees. Eighty-one Jehovah’s Witnesses district conventions are taking place in 81 U.S. cities through the end of September.